Performance Art Festival Archive Inventory and Shelflist

These materials were collected by Thomas Mulready, who founded the Cleveland Performance Art Festival (PAF), which was held yearly from 1988-1999. The Performance Art Festival was the largest event of its kind, attracting artists from around the world. Interested artists applied to be in the festival, sending materials which included a videotape that in some way related to their proposed work. Jurors evaluated the work based on artistic merits, cost, and feasibility.

The collection has several major components:

The collection is primarily housed in standard size file boxes. These are the boxes referred to in the list below. Posters are stored flat, separately.

The collection is organized by series, and then box number within the series. Within most boxes, the contents are described by folder, in the order that they were placed in the box. In boxes where the material does not appear to be in any order, for example, videotapes or ephemera, the items are described in a manner that seems consistent with their contents. The numbering system for the boxes was created by Mulready and has been retained at Cleveland State University (CSU). Not all of the boxes on this list were transferred to CSU, primarily in instances where there was considerable duplication in material. In these instances, the boxes not transferred have been noted on this list, along with the reason for not transferring them. In addition, there is also material which simply has not yet been transfered to CSU.

These files are presently in the order that they were placed in prior to transfer to CSU. This order often seems to have been created after the fact, probably when the files were put into storage. The order of the files may be changed in the future for ease of use.

The collection was donated to Special Collections at Cleveland State University by Thomas Mulready in 2005. It was physically transferred to CSU in the summer of 2005. Christopher Busta-Peck wrote this shelflist based on the framework of the inventory created by Mulready. This version was completed on August 18, 2005.

Series I: Performance Art Festival Videos

These videotapes provide a record of most of the performances, usually from two camera angles. They are organized by festival. Each of the tapes is labeled as to the artists included on that tape and usually includes performance title and duration.

These items have not yet been transferred to CSU.

Series II: Beta Masters

These include video recordings of interviews, television shows relating to the festival, and master recordings of PAF88.

These items have not yet been transfered to CSU.

Series III: Ephemera

This series includes t-shirts and caps printed for the festival. It also includes photographs of the festival from various years, videotapes, festival tickets, and works of art created by festival artists.

These items have not yet been transferred to CSU.

Series IV: Artist Files

To appear in the Performance Art Festival artists applied by sending an application form and a five minute video clip of either a previous performance or of the work to be performed at the festival. Files were kept on all of the artists who applied to be in the Performance Art Festival, whether they were accepted or not. These files contain primarily application materials, photographs, newspaper clippings, books, and other textual explanatory material. They may also include audiocasettes, CDs and CD-ROMs, posters, correspondence between the artist and Mulready, and other items the artists felt would illustrate their entry. For the artists who enclosed envelopes with sufficient postage, the videos were returned. The rest of the videos have been retained and make up Series V, below.

Thomas Mulready felt that the geographical diversity of the applicants was significant. He noted the location of the artist's residence on the outside of the file. This information has been recorded here, for those items where it was recorded on the outside of the envelope. Over the years, many of the artists moved - thus different envelopes pertaining to a single artist may have different cities listed.

These files are in the order they were placed by Thomas Mulready. All files are in alphabetical order. The files pertaining to individual artists are ordered by the individuals last name. Of the files pertaining to groups, those with a named individual on the paperwork have the group name in bold, but are alphabetical under the named individual's last name. For groups without such an individual, they are arranged alphabetically by the name of the group. In situations where there were two people listed on the file, generally the first person is the one whose name the file is under.

The files pertaining to a given artist or group are often not all in the same place - this may be due to the submission of the application by a different individual, or one file being placed under the group name and another under the individual name, or due to confusions in alphabetization. For these files, the other relevant files within this series have been listed. In these cross references, material can be found under the artist's last name or the first word of the group name. Cross references are only to artist files, and not to other series.

Each name listing is for a separate folder - eventually there will be a sub-listing under each detailing the contents of the folder

All boxes in this series have been moved to CSU.

Series V: Artist Videos

Artists were asked to submit a five minute videotape with their application to the Performance Art Festival. This tape was to be either documentation of a previous work, documentation of a previous work, or a study of some sort for the work proposed for the Festival. The advisory panel viewed these five minute clips and used them largely as a basis for determining the score they gave each artist. The scores were added, with the highest scoring artists being invited to perform in the festival. Artists had the option of having their videos returned, if they enclosed a postpaid envelope. Most of the artists who enclosed a postpaid envelope had their tapes returned. Many of the tapes are longer than five minutes or contain additional material beyond the five minute clip.

The contents of each tape have been listed based solely on the labels on the tape and any information that may exist on a slipcase for the tape, if present. Some tapes only have the name of an artist on them and some only have a title, which is why some items on this list have only this information. A small number of the tapes have labels that have fallen off - thus the presence of unlabeled tapes - these are listed at the end of each box. The tapes have not been viewed to determine their contents or the condition of the recording. The tapes are listed by box, in the order that Thomas Mulready placed them in. This is primarily alphabetical, but there are some tapes that do not seem to be in the correct boxes. The tapes are not in any specific order within a given box - they are listed here alphabetically, by artist last name or by group name, to make it easier to locate works.

Many of the tapes in this series are shorts or excerpts of longer works. When there was an indication that a tape contained an excerpt, that notation was copied to this list. Many of the tape labels contain additional descriptive information, including duration and other description. When a recording is listed multiple times, it means that multiple copies were found in the collection.

The items in this series are primarily VHS NTSC tapes. Those recorded in the PAL format with sort of indication to that effect have been labeled accordingly. The titles and names are copied directly from the tape labels, except when abbreviations were used solely to save space, in which case they are usually spelled out here. Writing in brackets is this author's ideas or commentary.

All boxes in this series have been moved to CSU.

Series VI: PAF Paper Business Files

The business files contain all of the files related to the business operations of the Festival. They also include press releases and other essential Festival documentation. The items listed below are the titles provided on the folders.

All of the boxes in this series except for box 6 have been transferred to CSU. Mulready believes that box 6 may contain all of the waivers pertaining to the video. (This box was not physically located with the others prior to transfer to CSU.)

Series VII: Various PAF Audio, Videos & Photos

This series contains assorted materials pertaining to the Performance Art Festival, mainly videos.

Boxes 1-6 (of 7) in this series have been transferred to CSU.

Series VIII Posters, Catalogs & Flyers

These are folded posters and catalogs for various Festival years. The posters often contain detailed information regarding festival events.

Series IX: Packages of Flat Posters

These posters were printed to advertise the various festivals. They are in various sizes. Exact numbers of posters are unknown, but stack thicknesses vary between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches.